Tom Hanks' Broadway debut praised

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Actor Tom Hanks has received high praise from critics for his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron's play Lucky Guy.

The Oscar winner, who acted in Ephron's films Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, was hailed as "the star of the show" by The New York Post.

Variety magazine said he took "to the stage like a fish to water", while The Guardian said "his stardom prevails".

But there were mixed reviews for other aspects of the production, which Ephron was writing when she died last year.

Directed by George C Wolfe, the play follows the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike McAlary.

The New York Times' Ben Brantley wrote that it was "little more than the sum of its anecdotes".

"Unlike some of the movies Ephron wrote and directed, and many of her peerlessly sharp essays, Lucky Guy often feels only newsprint deep," he added.

The New York Post, where Ephron worked for several years in her early career, declared that Hanks' "everyman-relatable charm" shone through "as strongly onstage as it does on screen".

He appears alongside the twice Tony Award-nominated actor Courtney B Vance and Peter Getery, who plays the editor John Cotter.

LA Times theatre critic Charles McNulty wrote that Ephron was a "master storyteller", but that the show "too often feels like a straight biography".

However, Ephron's play should win a Tony award, according to the Financial Times, who said it would be a tribute to the author and "a testament to the lasting quality of her text".

In the first week of previews, the play took more than $1m (£662,000) in ticket sales, almost as much as hit productions The Book of Mormon, The Lion King and Wicked.

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